Occurrence and risk assessment of sesame as an allergen in oriental products on the Quebec market

The purpose of our study is to determine the occurrence of sesame allergen in unlabelled or labelled oriental products with or without Precautionary Allergen Labeling ‘may contain’ and estimate the risk incurred by the Canadian population allergic to sesame with a focus on products purchased in Middle Eastern grocery stores in Canada. Samples were purchased at random from supermarkets, greengrocers, bakeries and other retail outlets between August and December 2018 in the greater Montreal area. A total of 571 samples were analysed to determine the level of Sesame protein, using the RIDASCREEN® FAST Sesame enzyme immunoassay (R-Biopharm A.G., Darmstadt, Germany) sandwich-type ELISA. Of the 571 samples analysed, 19% (109/571) contained Sesame (results > LOQ) with a rate of sesame proteins varying between 0.5 and 1,875 ppm and 35% (199/571) contained traces (a value between LOD and LOQ). Unpackaged products were found to present the highest proportion of Sesame containing samples (36%). For packaged products, 16% (27/173) of samples with PAL and 3% (5/173) without PAL were found to contain Sesame. A probabilistic approach was used to estimate the risk incurred by the Canadian consumers allergic to Sesame. Our evaluation estimated that 33 to 308 allergic reactions may occur out of 10 000 individuals ingesting one type of bakery product contaminated at a level of 0.6 - 74 ppm sesame proteins.

The article can be found at the following link: https://www-tandfonline-com.acces.bibl.ulaval.ca/doi/full/10.1080/19440049.2021.1881622